Anna’s powers awaken when she’s four years old.
She knows this because it’s when she wakes up; in her father’s arms, shivering in the cool night.
Only four years old – white hair and she’s only four (that’s her mother, that one), Anna I’m sorry I’m sorry.
That’s Elsa. Elsa, she thinks but doesn’t say, I love you, Elsa, don’t be sorry.
I love you.
“She will not remember,” a voice says heavily. She wants to open her eyes and see where it’s coming from, who’s speaking; but her mother is broadcasting relief and terror, and something in the stranger’s tone tells her to stay quiet.
It isn’t until after they’re bundled onto their parents’ horses, till after Elsa has been led into her room by Father (and he’s angry, so angry that Anna can practically feel her big sister quaking with fear) that her mother’s thoughts calm down enough to make some semblance of sense.
Oh God, what did we do to deserve your wrath? Elsa is such a good, sweet girl, what did she do?
Nothing, Anna thinks fiercely. She can’t keep from twitching slightly in rage; but her mother, too caught up in self-recrimination, does not notice. Elsa is perfect, Elsa is perfect and powerful and leave her alone!
“How is Anna?”
That’s her father, his normally firm, rich voice turned hoarse with weariness.
“Sleeping,” her mother answers. Thank God – if she remembered what had happened-
And suddenly there’s an image – clear as day, flashing through Anna’s mind. Only for an instant, but long enough for Anna to see a room full of ice, Elsa curled up around Anna’s prone form in the centre of the hall.
It should be terrifying, Anna supposes. But all she feels is hunger. Love for her beautiful, loving sister, and hunger for that power within her.
She wants to see that icy magic; wants it to coat the earth, surround her in a raging swirl. Wants…
Wants things a four year old should not be able to comprehend. Not a normal child, at least.
But then, Anna thinks wryly, I am Elsa’s sister.
She is Elsa’s sister; but she wouldn’t know it from the way Elsa suddenly disappears from her life. From best friends to complete strangers, in one fell swoop.
“I wanna play with Elsa!” she exclaims as she tugs her mother’s sleeve. Four years old, remember, is an undercurrent simmering through her body that keeps her shoulders down, her voice high and warm instead of cold and demanding.
But her mother’s face clouds over. “I’m sorry, Anna,” her mother says gently. “Elsa can’t play with you anymore.” For your own safety, Anna; have to keep you safe.
Anna knows she should ask why, as though she really is a stupid, naïve child. But the rage is rising again, bitter and vicious; it longs to wrap itself around the idiotic woman who holds her, who keeps her away from Elsa.
Burn, burn, kill-
But she still has the body of a stupid, naïve child.
So Anna turns her head away, and doesn’t resist as she feels her mother embrace her. Words of love and apology brush her ear; irritating accompaniment to Anna’s thoughts as a plan begins to unfold, slowly but surely within her mind.
The trouble is her age. There’s no getting rid of their idiotic parents (choking Anna’s sister with their “Conceal, don’t feel” rhetoric that brings a snarl to Anna’s lips whenever she feels Elsa echo it). Not yet, at least; not when they’re this young and another guardian would simply be put in their place. Another barrier between Anna and what she wants.
What she wants –
Elsa, power raging free.
Elsa, quiet and beautiful.
Elsa, who answers Anna with the same silence when she’s thirteen as when she was four.
Anna is old enough now to know just how twisted she is in her head; to have read the Bible and God’s edicts.
But God also gave her this power – gave Elsa the power and beauty and kindness that makes her Anna’s flame in the dark, icy world her mind-reading has formed for her. She knows every petty thought, knows that her mother lies to her father about his prowess in bed and that her father suspects Elsa’s sorcery comes from his wife.
Elsa is the only purity; her thoughts filled with fear of hurting their parents. With the memory of hurting Anna. With a fierce love for her baby sister that makes her ache.
God can’t have Elsa.
The opportunity comes sooner than Anna might have thought – a few months after she’s perfected the art of implanting ideas in minds. It’s not mind control, but something subtler. Like planting a seed and waiting.
The captain of the ship her parents board has a particularly fertile mind, and Anna has become an expert gardener in the years since she first felt other people echo in her head.
Anna has also become a patient woman in these past years; but Elsa has always tested and challenged her like no one else can. So it shouldn’t be surprising to her that even the death of the King and Queen fail to draw Elsa from her room and into Anna’s arms.
They’re dead, what are we going to do, oh Anna I’m so sorry, you don’t deserve a sister like me.
No, Elsa is probably right; Anna does not believe that murderers are ever considered deserving. But she has never cared about that. So instead she thinks about kissing Elsa’s perfectly shaped mouth, about sinking her teeth into the pale skin while her hand pulls at the coiffed platinum blonde hair. She wonders if Elsa will think her deserving then – or whether she’ll let Anna break her.
Dead parents and the distress of her sister blanketing her skin – as Anna thrusts against her fingers in the solitude of her fingers, she comes harder than she ever has.
Coronation day. Coronation day, where Elsa will have no choice but to emerge from her room into Anna’s presence. Where she’ll have to grapple between the icy power within and her adorable yearning not to hurt Anna again.
But after Coronation day – if Anna does not play her hand correctly, then afterwards will be merely the mirror image of what happened before. Solitude, isolation, and no Elsa.
So, as Anna races through the gates, letting her mind brush out and brush against those of her citizens, she schemes.
Something to break Elsa out of her frigidly polite shell. Something to make her crack. Something to make her see me-
And then she senses it. A mind like nothing she’s felt before, with malevolent bitterness that brings a grin to her face.
I’ll get the sister – get the sister, get rid of the cold bitch – make every one of my brothers regret – regret the day they insulted me – take what I want-
A deeper scan of this mind reveals a handsome, dark-haired face staring back through a mirror. A rowdy dinner table. Cruel pinches and punches from taller, bigger boys. Being locked in a broom cupboard for two days. An absent-minded father who can never remember his name. Burning intelligence and raging, injured pride.
Everything, in short, that Anna knows best.
Hello, Hans, she thinks, as she walks into him. I think we should get to know each other.